Thursday, December 08, 2011

Will Blago's sentence deter political corruption?

That is today's Capitol Fax: Question of the Day in light of yesterday's sentencing on federal corruption charges to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. We also found out today that he will not be receiving his state pension as a result of his federal conviction in connection with his time as Governor.

If you want to know my thoughts. This morning when I first noticed the comments there had been 80 and now as I write this post there are 143 so far.

Most of those comments are very negative. They believe Blago's conviction will not change the corrupt culture of this state. Many will say human nature is what it it where people are greedy and want a monetary reward for their service. Well however they get their monetary reward.

We may still wink and nod at the actions of politicians and we may know that something is fishy about what they're doing. It's probably just theater to many of us and it'll get us talking with people who are of like minds.

Still the optimism in me says, yes his conviction will deter some politicians from taking money or anything gift in relation to their duties as public officials. There probably will people who will engage in activities that could easily be construed as criminal, but I also hope that no one will ever again be as brazen as Blagojevich. If nothing else this conviction will convince those who are headed that route will either keep their noses clean if they do serve or stay out of politics altogether.

I'm listening to a lot of people's thoughts on his time as Governor and as it relates to people who didn't get caught engaging in corruption. Some insist Daley is crooked and yet he's not going to jail or otherwise indicted. Some people note the crimes of George Ryan, the corruption scandal that took him down was as a result of deaths because of license for bribes.

Some have commented on what Blago has done for the poor and senior citizens of this state. People might admire Ryan for his moratorium on the death penalty before he finished his one term as Governor. They may have done some good, but their legacies could've been cemented had they been clean enough to avoid prosecution for corruption.

The lesson, if you do right by the people you will be rewarded. If you don't then Blago or Ryan is an example of what can happen if you fail to do the right thing.

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